JEREMIAH LUCKEY. Not to know "Jerry" Luckey, as he is familiarly called, is to argue oneself unknown in Cherokee County. Coming to the county when all "trails,"for it was before the day of roads,led to Cherokee Center, the pioneer name of the now thriving county-seat town of Columbus, Mr. Luckey has been a prominent factor in each advancing stage of the county's progress. The character of the business followed by him during his residence in the county is responsible for his being so universally known, as he has operated a threshing machine during each recurring season. for the past 30 years. He is a farmer residing on the southeast quarter of section 1, Salamanca township, where he lacated in the fall of 1867. Mr. Luckey came to the State from Ohio, where he was born in Athens County, October 15, 1842.
To look upon the splendid farms of Cherokee County, one can scarcely conceive of the wild scene which presented itself to the eye of Mr. Luckey as his "prairie schooner" reached the confines of the county in the fall of 1867. Stopping at Pleasant View, to inquire the way to Cherokee Center, the schooner was headed for that point, which then was marked by a single log house, standing on the north side of what is now the public square. Mr. Luckey was accompanied by his wife and a cousin, Samuel Wilson. After prospecting in different parts of the county, Mr. Luckey located on the quarter which has since been his residence, though he sold the north 80 acres at a later date. This spot was but virgin soil at that time, with deer, wolves and prairie chickens in abundance for game. Many provisions and other articles were obtained, at quite a distance from here, at Missouri points.
With the characteristic energy of the early pioneer, Mr. Luckey began his "battle for a home," and none can relate with greater vividness and truthfulness the privations endured, and the many shifts necessary, in order to bring order out of chaos. Mr. Luckey was the pioneer thresher of the county, a portion of the time in partnership, but for the most part alone. In this business his known honesty and great energy have made him successful, as also in the management of his farm. In the great development which has taken place in the coal industry of Southeastern Kansas, Mr. Luckey bears the unique distinction of being the first to discover that mineral in the county. The place was in the Stillson coal field in Mineral township, near Scammon, he being at the time accompanied by Mr. Wilson. Until arrangements were made for mining the field, Mr. Luckey supplied himself with coal at the simple expense of getting it out.
Jeremiah Luckey is the eldest of six children born to Joshua and Margaret (Means) Luckey. His mother was born in Pennsylvania, December 14, 1823. She is a devout member of the Church of God, and is a resident of Washington County, Iowa. Joshua Luckey was born in Athens County, Ohio, January 17, 1817. He was the son of Joshua Luckey, a native of Pennsylvania. He was an early pioneer in Athens County. There he followed farming until 1850, when he settled in Louisa County, Iowa. His death occurred there July 9, 1903. All the children of these parnets[sic] are living. Besides Jeremiah, there areMary Jane (Fisher), a widow residing in Waverly, Coffey County, Kansas; James M., a farmer residing in Neosho County, Kansas, who has served one term as county surveyor of that county; Joseph C., a farmer in Washington County, Iowa, who also operates a thresher; Sarah E. (McGuire), residing in Louisa County, Iowa, on the old home farm; and William, A carriage-maker by trade, now located at Grinnell, Iowa.
Mr. Luckey was reared in Louisa County, Iowa, and was still in his teens when the tocsin of war resounded throughout the land. In the fall of 1862, he enlisted as a private in Company F, 25th Reg., Iowa Vol. Inf., and was mustered out in Washington, June 7, 1865. He saw service in the 15th Army Corps under Gen. John A. Logan and was with Sherman in his "March to the Sea." Although in many tight places and with bullet holes in various parts of his clothing, Mr. Luckey bore the charm of his name and came through without injury.
Returning from the war, Mr. Luckey established a home of his own, bringing to preside over it the lady who still bears him company, whose maiden name was Mary T. Green. She was born in Monroe County, Tennessee, in 1845, and removed to Iowa with her parents in 1850. Mr. and Mrs. Luckey have had 11 children, all born on the old homestead, except the eldest, Harvey E., who was born in Iowa. The family record is as follows; Harvey E., Anthony W., William M., Ai, Faith, Nora, Roy, Ada, Edward, Adda and Emma. Harvey E. died in infancy. Faith, born November 29, 1876, and Nora, born July 11, 1881, are deceased. Anthony W., of Pittsburg, Kansas, born April 15, 1868, is engaged at work in the coal banks, and is married. William M., born March 1, 1870, is located in Washington County, Iowa, and is married. Ai, born October 5, 1873, is running an engine at the powder works of the Joplin-Rand Powder Company, and has been with the works for six years, as engineer. He married Lizzie Steinbrook, of the home county, and has two children,Lawrence and Bertha, also born here. Roy, born February 12, 1879, lives at home and runs the engine to the threshing rig. Ada, born February 28, 1884, and Edward, born September 4, 1886, live at home, Adda and Emma (twins) died in infancy.
Mr. Luckey, as has been intimated, has always been a man of influence in affairs, serving as road overseer and in other official positions at different times. His political principles are embodied in the platform of the Reform party. He affiliates with the I.O.O.F., of Columbus, and has a warm place in his heart for the G.A.R.
No man stands higher in the estimation of the citizens of Cherokee County, and as he looks out over the broad expanse dotted with well tilled farms and happy homes, Mr. Luckey is justified in feeling a pardonable pride in the part which, under Providence, he has played. His portrait accompanies this sketch.
History of Cherokee County Kansas and its representative citizens, ed. & comp. by Nathaniel Thompson Allison, 1904, transcribed by Andrea Dinger, student from USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, 11-21-96.
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